Press Release
August 13, 2019


A multipartisan coalition of labor groups today called for the swift passage of a "strong, effective, and pro-worker" Security of Tenure (SOT) Bill in the 18th Congress, after President Rodrigo Duterte vetoed a version of the measure passed by Congress in the 17th Congress.

In a press conference in Quezon City on Tuesday, labor groups of various political orientations, such as the Sentro ng Progresibong Manggagawang Pilipino (SENTRO), Partido Manggagawa (PM), Federation of Free Workers (FFW), the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and the National Federation of Labor Unions (NAFLU) expressed their fear that Congress will pass a weak measure in the 18th Congress to avoid another veto from the President.

"With the President's veto of the measure, we are worried that Congress might pass a weak version of the law to satisfy the President and appease big employer groups at the expense of the Filipino workers," the groups said.

"We hope President Duterte will finally rise to the occasion and find the political and moral courage to side with the Filipino workers and break free from his big business patrons. Tama na ang veto sa SOT Bill," the groups asserted.

Meanwhile, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros, who also attended the event, said that she will refile her own version of the bill, which the different labor groups are supporting. Hontiveros and the different labor groups said that they will employ new tactics to ensure the passage of a SOT Bill that squarely addresses the needs of workers and stops abusive labor practices.

The Senator said that public opinion is important in shaping and influencing public policy. She said that she draws inspiration from the Filipinos' strong stance on the West Philippine Sea which forced the Duterte administration to shift policy in dealing with China.

"We will build and mobilize strong public opinion in support of the bill. We will touch base with new constituencies and social groups outside of the labor force to gather support for the bill and make it politically costly for the President not to fulfill his promise to the workers," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said her version of the SOT bill contains a provision against fixed term employment to prohibit labor contractualization. The said provision was not included in the measure submitted to the President.

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